Blue Star puts gender fluidity in the spotlight with The Lady Boys of the Peek-A-Boo Lounge

By : Jeremy Williams
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Orlando performer Blue Star is one person who embodies empowerment and being comfortable in your own skin. Blue came to Orlando in 2000 to attend Full Sail University after a successful dancing career in Atlanta and New York. She planned to stay for just 13 months; she never left. In 2012, Blue opened the theater The Venue.

“I just wanted a place to put on my shows,” Blue says. “But as I say now it’s not my Venue anymore, it’s Orlando’s Venue. It’s a safe place for performers to try out new things and new shows and take risks and really grow themselves.”

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2018 WAVE AWARD WINNERS – CENTRAL FLORIDA

By : Watermark Staff
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FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN/ACTIVIST

First: Patty Sheehan, Orlando City Commissioner – District 4

Second: Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor

Third: Carlos Guillermo Smith, Florida House Representative – District 49

GREATEST STRAIGHT ALLY TO THE LOCAL LGBTQ COMMUNITY

First: Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor

Second: Anna Eskamani, Florida House candidate – District 47

Third: Darren Soto, U.S. House of Representatives – Florida’s 9th District

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Steve Blanchard and Jay Dilley

By : Jeremy Williams
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It’s a tale as old as time, in the digital age, for this Disney-loving dynamic duo.

Steve and Jay first connected like many do these days, through a dating app. A relationship can’t be sustained through a data plan, so after chatting for a bit they agreed to meet.

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Central Florida Overheard: Cirque-le back

By : Anonymous
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When it was publicized Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba, which opened in 1998 at Downtown Disney, would be closing and no new show was immediately announced, many began to speculate what would Disney open in its place?

The House of Mouse renovated and redesigned Downtown Disney and re-opened it as Disney Springs in 2016. Did they have plans of their own for that theater?

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10 Family-Friendly Must Boos

By : Scottie Campbell
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You know who loves Halloween? Your babysitter. Which means you may have to take the little ones out with you for some spooky fun. Here are 10 Family Friendly events sure to be scary good for both kids and parents alike.

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Kavin Panmeechao helps to bring Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The King and I” to life at the Dr. Phillips Center

By : Jeremy Williams
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Kavin Panmeechao was bit by the acting bug early. He started acting on Los Angeles stages when he was seven and, aside from a break in his teens to “do kid things,” he has been singing, dancing and acting the hell out of stages across the world ever since.

Panmeechao has charmed audiences in A Chorus Line, Hello Dolly! and Bye Bye Birdie; as well as toured the country with the smash hit musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He can currently be seen as Lun Tha in the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic The King and I, coming to the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando Sept. 12-17.

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09.07.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Musical theater is god to me. Yes, I subscribe to the idea that theater is spelled with an er not re at the end. Theatre is like pineapple on pizza. It’s weird. It just doesn’t belong. I digress.

Broadway ranks at the top of the list of my favorite things, right next to Air Supply, of course. I’m holding out for the day I get to see the Broadway show based on Air Supply songs. Can you imagine? My gay heart would explode! Until then, it’s enough for me sit in the park and watch American Stage Theatre Company put on Hairspray, or go to the Calvary Church to see Central Florida Community Arts’ concert version of Titanic: The Musical. Both were incredible, by the way. We are lucky to have such amazing local talent bringing to life Broadway shows that many people don’t get a chance to experience. We are also fortunate to have fabulous venues for Broadway tours to entertain us.

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Kidney Sisters: Rae L’Heureux wants to get the word out about Disney girls in need of an organ donor

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Rae L’Heureux is full of life. A California transplant from San Francisco, L’Heureux came to Orlando by way of a state grant that allowed her to help children.

“I designed a theatre program for at-risk youth,” L’Heureux says. “The state of Florida gave me a grant to bring that program here so I became a Florida girl. After the grant money dried up, I thought, ‘Where can I put my theatre degree to work?’ That’s how I got to Disney.”

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THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WANZIE: What I did over the summer

By : Michael Wanzie
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School is back in session so as routine dictates it’s time to report – What I did over the summer:

I’m not a student, so the only thing that made me aware school was out in June was my inability to skip haphazardly though a theme park with carefree abandon – as I have been known to do from time to time. Instead I was reduced to a vigilant crawl carefully navigating and calculating every step so as not collide with another god damned stroller. Never-the-less, I thoroughly enjoyed my “Flight of Passage” on the back of a banshee in the new land of Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I must admit all my pent up resentment over the fact the ride was nothing more than a cross utilization of the already existing “Soarin’” technology was quickly allayed about five seconds into this spectacular experience. It was actually worth the 90-minute wait.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Final trivia, Ginger Minj makes ‘Friends’ & closed attractions

By : Anonymous
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Scottie’s Last Day

For nearly three years, The Hammered Lamb has played host to Scottie Campbell’s Trivia Night, which raises money for Florida Little Dog Rescue.

Week after week, Scottie hosts on The Hammered Lamb’s outdoor patio, with many trivia fans arriving early just to guarantee a seat. However, Scottie’s trivia days are nearly over. The official Last Day of Trivia arrives on Tuesday, Aug. 29.

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Orlando Gay Chorus launches Voices United! Orlando youth camp

By : Billy Manes
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ORLANDO – For one week, everyone was a star, or at least a star in the making.

In an unexpected move, the Orlando Gay Chorus—with help from a grant from Disney—launched a chorus camp called Voices United! Orlando, a choir camp intended to raise voices to their perfect pitch, all while having fun. From June 5-9, 22 kids of middle-school age came together for a week of bass and treble, alto and soprano, all leading to a final performance that Friday.

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Wet Hot Gay Summer! Orlando’s big gay weekend succeeds despite the weather and a year of mourning

By : Billy Manes
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ORLANDO – It was the best of times, it was the wettest of times.

Whether it was a pool party or a thunderstorm, the underlying theme beneath the gray skies of Orlando’s resort area in its big gay weekend occupying June’s first week was one of water falling, often with thunder and lightning included.

For 27 years, GayDayS Inc., One Magical Weekend and Girls in Wonderland have been tourism drivers for the area, growing from simple notions of red shirts at theme parks all the way to huge circuit parties and even bigger profits. In economic development parlance, the annual June event brings hundreds of millions of dollars to the region.

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